Julia Preston reports
in the New York Times:
Stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American military will begin recruiting skilled immigrants who are living in this country with temporary visas, offering them the chance to become United States citizens in as little as six months.Immigrants who are permanent residents, with documents commonly known as green cards, have long been eligible to enlist. But the new effort, for the first time since the Vietnam War, will open the armed forces to temporary immigrants if they have lived in the United States for a minimum of two years, according to military officials familiar with the plan.Recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.[U.S. Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship, February 14, 2009]
I see this as largely a way to hide the real cost of the war-and pass the costs onto a few select groups of Americans-since it costs the military nothing to grant citizenship rights. I find the idea of loading critical infrastructure of the US military with H-1b workers rather scary, given what has happened in places like Enron
and what almost happened
at Fannie Mae. The military is proposing to recruit en masse
from countries where they can`t even perform a reliable background check? I understand that some of this might need to be done to get the right language skills
—or in special cases(like the German engineer who earned his US citizenship
by providing a working Zero
after Pearl Harbor). Doing this on the a mass scale sounds like a formula for disaster.
The senior GOP member of the Armed forces Committee of the House, John McHugh
, has been a big H-1b supporter. Write him here
. The current Democratic Chair, Ike Skelton has had similar inclinations
. He`ll only accept
messages from residents of Missouri`s 4th district.
I seriously wonder if these policies weren`t bought and paid for by interests hostile to the people of the United States. The amount of money that it took to buy congress to expand H-1b visas isn`t that much in terms of a military budget. If the military defeat of the United States can be engineered this way, it will be quite a bargain.